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Jarosław Tomasiewicz Ph.D.,"The Jewish Question in the Political Thought of Obóz Narodowy (The National Camp) in 1939–1945"

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This article describes the attitude of the broadly understood National Camp 1 to the Jewish question under Nazi occupation. More specifically, it examines the nationalists’ point of view on the role and situation of the Jewish minority and their proposals for addressing this problem. This particular point of view was shaped by two main factors: the ideology/programme of the National Camp as formulated prior to the outbreak of World War II, and the dramatically different socio-economic and political circumstances which prevailed under occupation. This article examines the extent to which prior ideological and political assumptions remained unchanged by inertia, and how they were modified and revised. The key differences on the Jewish question between the individual nationalist groups should be distinguished.

The Jewish Question in the 1930s


The Jewish question was of great importance in Polish social and political life. In the interwar period, Poland was one of the largest global centres of the Jewish nation.2 The problem was complicated by the concentration of the Jewish minority within some branches of the economy.3 In 1931, out of 3,111,000 Jewish citizens, 1,140,000 lived from trade and credit; 52% of property commercial outlets and 40% of crafts businesses were owned by Jews; and in 1938, Jews constituted 34% of doctors and 53% of lawyers.4


These relations fuelled anti-Semitism based on the ethnic concept of the nation. Anna Landau-Czajka defines anti-Semitism as “an attitude of hostility towards Jews or towards persons of Jewish origin, which is rooted not so much in the layering of specific social conflicts as in certain features attributed to Jews or Jewry in general”.5 When developing this definition, attention should be paid to the peculiar dynamics of the phenomenon: although it is often based on objective conflicts of interest, it undergoes secondary ideologisation, leading to a generalised hostility towards Jews, and ensuring its persistence irrespective of the primary cause of the conflict. Speaking about the ethnic (as opposed to racial or political) concept of a nation, the author refers to the idea of a community bound by culture stemming from the language and religion. From such viewpoint the basis of anti-Semitism lies in recognising Jews as ‘alien’ and, consequently, denying (or drastically limiting) the Jewish population the right to assimilate.


The 1930s brought a sharp deterioration in Polish-Jewish relations. According to the US Embassy, Poles in the ‘vast majority’ sympathised with anti-Semitism. Włodzimierz Mich wrote: “Almost commonly accepted (by Narodowa Demokracja [the National Democrats, ND], Obóz Zjednoczenia Narodowego [the Camp of National Unity, OZN, ‘Ozon’], some conservatives, Chrześcijańska Demokracja [the Christian Democrats, ChD], the Catholic Church, and even Stronnictwo Ludowe [the Peasants’ Party, SL]) was the idea of the need to oust Jews from Polish cultural life […]. Similarly, there was a widespread belief that Jews should be forced out of the economic sphere.” The main reason seems to be the great economic crisis, initiated by the Wall Street Crash of 1929: Poland, in its semi-peripheral position, was one of the most affected countries.7 The decreasing purchasing power of society resulted in the intensification of competition among businessmen, which led to an increase in anti-Semitism. New fields of confrontation were emerging. Institutions of higher education 8 became the arena for the most violent struggles: Poland was characterised by an overproduction of intelligentsia, typical for semi-peripheral countries;9 thus, the ethnic Polish youth at universities perceived the numerous Jewish students as rivals on the shallow market of intellectual labour. Anti-Semitism in rural areas, hitherto passive, visibly evolved: the countryside, languishing in poverty, desperately tried to increase its income by bypassing Jewish brokerage and selling products directly.10 Anti-Semitism arose in substantial degrees in workers’ circles, where such moods had been effectively suppressed by the Marxist left until then. Jewish workers sought employment in industry,11 competing for jobs with Polish workers,12 which resulted in popularisation of slogans such as ‘Jobs for Poles only!’13 Sometimes the class stratification coincided with ethnicity, as in Łódź where Stronnictwo Narodowe [the National Party, SN] mobilised Polish workers against Jewish capitalists.14 Even if a Jew was not the immediate employer of a Pole, in conditions of crisis the living standards of the Jewish middle-class were higher than those of many Poles, causing frustration and envy.15 As one anti-Semitic leaflet bitterly proclaimed: “The poorest in our own land – it’s us!”16


All these factors caused a political expansion of anti-Semitism in Polish society: the slogan ‘Swój do swego po swoje’ (“Ourself to ourselves for our own”) gained popularity, as did the idea of the numerus clausus and the so-called ‘Aryan paragraph’ excluding Jews from various social organisations. A unique phenomenon was the anti-Jewish press – not the magazines that published anti-Semitic content in addition to their regular content, but those that dealt exclusively with the fight against Jews. Despite their monotony, they were a source of income for a considerable group of publishers and journalists. Most of them were not organisationally associated with the National Camp, but ‘spontaneously’ represented anti-Semitism. This left its mark to varying degrees on many political groups.17


Nevertheless, the National Camp remained the main anti-Semitic force. In its quest to preserve its monopoly on anti-Semitism, it constantly radicalised   its position (the press supported by the National Party featured opinions such as “Ozon defends the Jews with anti-Semitism”18).  Even  before  the split  [of the National Party] in 1934, Jan Mosdorf announced in Myśl Narodowa that anti-Semitism was the essence of the nationalist program.19 The National Party, competing in this field with Obóz Narodowo-Radykalny [the National Radical Camp, ONR],20 consistently sought to make anti-Semitism a party-owned element by directly organising and leading anti-Jewish campaigns.21 The Green Ribbon League, established in 1932, was intended to be an organisational formula for the anti-Jewish movement, and aimed at “the absolute boycott of Jewish trade, crafts and liberal professions”.22

In 1935, the National Party initiated a ‘national economic action’ aimed at increasing ‘Christian’ participation in trade and crafts.23 A new quality of the 1930s campaign was the transition from a passive boycott (i.e. ordinary boycott propaganda) to an active form, manifesting itself in picketing Jewish stores. A Zionist member of the Sejm, Emil Sommerstein, described it as follows: “Pickets stand in front of shops, stalls or Jewish workshops and do not allow customers to enter. Whoever dares to enter will not return home with the purchased item, they beat you and destroy the goods […]. Jewish merchants and traders are not allowed to enter the markets in large areas of the country.”24 Picketing was not always associated with violence, but would often lead to it.25

Anti-Semitic circles were ambivalent towards violence. On the one hand, some anti-Semites condemned the violence, perceiving it as amoral and counter-productive:26 “A Christian conscience will not allow us to strike a Jew with a baton or another weapon,” wrote Father Leon Pyżalski.27 On the other hand, anti-Semitic journalism often expressed the acceptance of violence 28 or even called openly  for it: 29 “Down with the falsely understood love of thy neighbour! Let its place be taken by the holy hatred of Jewish and pro-Jewish evil,” cried Father Ignacy Charszewski.30 Such bellicose rhetoric did not have to be an actual expression of an inclination towards violence or a direct call to it (Anna Landau-Czajka points out that the language of contemporary journalism and propaganda was much more brutal than it is today)31, but it undoubtedly created an atmosphere that stoked the consent to violence.

The ideology of nationalist anti-Semitism in the 1930s specified the concept of the Jew. Jews were consistently treated in terms of ‘the nation’, which ultimately shifted the Polish-Jewish conflict from the religious to the ethnic level. Wielka Polska  proclaimed that  “Jews  –  regardless of  their religion –  remain Jews as far as their spiritual and physical characteristics are concerned.”32 Another anti-Semitic journal drew the line by claiming that “baptism does not change either race or blood.”33 While at the beginning of the century Jews were accused of refusing to assimilate, in the 1930s they were denied the right to do so. Catholicism, however, prevented nationalists from fully adopting such a racist ideology. Jędrzej Giertych’s view prevailed in the National Camp: “We are not racists – we believe that belonging to a nation is primarily a spiritual fact, and secondarily a racial one.”34

In the 1930s, the process of demonising the Jews was concluded.35 Naród  w Walce wrote: “Today, the Jewish question is a central issue in world politics.”36 Samoobrona explained it thus: “Jewry is the moral gangrene in the world; it is the seedling of all evil that, like bacteria, is found in Jewish blood.”37 Hasło Wybrzeża Polskiego stated directly that “the Jew is the Satan established by God for the nations,”38 while Hasło Wołynia said that the Jews are “the sons of Satan”.39 They were described as “cockroaches, bedbugs, bugs, a fungus devouring everything”.40 There could be no compromise, no modus vivendi, with such an enemy. On the eve of World War II, the leader of the National Party announced: “There exists only one nation for which our distrust is so immense that we cannot recognise them as our ally for even a brief moment. This nation is the Jews.”41

The explicitly formulated strategic aim was the forced emigration of the Jewish population from Poland.42 The removal of Jews accused of Communism, fighting Catholicism and planning the demoralisation of society 43 would facilitate the healing of social relations and ensure the moral and political unity of the nation. It was also believed that the emigration of Jews would automatically solve Poland’s economic problems: both unemployment and the lack of ploughland would disappear; the nationalists foresaw that the most active rural element would flow into the towns deserted by the Jews, creating a native Polish urban class.44 Yet in the transitional period, the legal discrimination and full separation of the Jewish minority were planned.45 The numerus clausus slogan was replaced by the concept of numerus nullus.46 Jędrzej Giertych wrote: “Regarding the Jews […] we will apply […] the principle of pushing them into the ‘ghetto’ in the most rigorous way. Publishing magazines, books etc. in Polish will be forbidden to  them.  […] They will be barred from professions like the practice of law, medicine, pharmaceutics, journalism, etc. […]. They will be expelled from Polish schools (common, secondary and higher). They will be excluded from holding of state and local government, etc. offices.”47 This was the ideological baggage with which the National Camp entered World War II.

 

Footnotes:

1 The term ‘National Camp’ has a twofold meaning herein: in a narrower sense, there were National Democratic groups originating from Liga Narodowa [the National League, LN] and referring to the ideological tradition formulated by Roman Dmowski: Związek Ludowo-Narodowy [the People’s National Union, ZLN], Obóz Wielkiej Polski [the Camp of Great Poland, OWP], Związek Młodych Narodowców – Ruch Narodowo-Państwowy [the Association of Young Nationalists – National State Movement, ZMN, RNP], Obóz Narodowo-Radykalny [the National Radical Camp, ONR] and their successors under German occupation. In a broader sense, ethno-nationalist groups of various provenance are also included, but inspired by and under the influence of thought of Stronnictwo Narodowe (the National Party, SN).

2 According to Jewish sources, in 1919  4,100,000 Jews lived in Poland, constituting 13.22% of  the general public (to compare, the figure in the United States of America was 3,300,000, The American Jewish Year Book 5681, vol. 22, Philadelphia 1920, p. 362). At that time, Jewish people constituted 12% of Palestine’s population (ibidem, p. 363).

3 See J.Tomasiewicz,‘Antysemityzm gospodarczy między pozytywizmem a rasizmem (1876–1941)’ in  Między  pozytywizmem  a  nacjonalizmem. Przemiany  kultury  polskiej  w  latach 1886–1918,ed. M. Gloger, Warsaw 2017, pp. 229–263.

4 J.Tomaszewski, Ojczyzna nie tylko Polaków, Warsaw 1985, p. 100; J. Orlicki, Szkice z dziejów stosunków polsko-żydowskich 1918–1949, Szczecin 1983, pp. 56–57; cf. W. Alter, Antysemityzm gospodarczy w świetle cyfr, Warsaw 1937, pp. 18, 27–28; ‘Żydzi w gospodarce polskiej (2)’, Ruch Gospodarczy 1937, no. 3.

5 A.Landau-Czajka, W jednym stali domu, Warsaw 1999, p. 24.

6 P.Różański,‘Wystąpienia antyżydowskie na polskich uczelniach wyższych w latach 1936–1937 w raportach ambasady amerykańskiej w Warszawie’, Studia Judaica 2009, no. 1–2; W. Mich, Obcy w polskim domu. Nacjonalistyczne koncepcje rozwiązania problemu mniejszości narodowych 1918–1939, Lublin 1994, p. 61. OZN, a.k.a. ‘Ozon’ refers to Obóz Zjednoczenia Narodowego [the Camp of National Unity], founded in 1937 by the ruling Sanacja camp, which partly adopted nationalist ideology in competing with the SN.

7 J.Skodlarski, Zarys historii gospodarczej Polski do 1939 roku, Warsaw–Łódź 1995, pp. 264–282.

8 P.Różański, ‘Wystąpienia…’; M. Natkowska, Numerus clausus, getto ławkowe, numerus nullus, “paragraf aryjski”. Antysemityzm na Uniwersytecie Warszawskim 1931–1939, Warsaw 1999.

9 Z. Wojciechowski, Myśli o polityce i ustroju narodowym, Poznań 1935, pp. 93, 98.

10 “A tide of young peasant elements is quickly rising towards the cities, where they are looking for employment and means of living in trade”, noted a Sanacja newspaper (‘Emigracja żydowska’, Gazeta Polska 1936, no. 312). The most well-known pogrom of the 1930s – in Przytyk on 9 March 1936 – took place against such a background (P. Gontarczyk, Pogrom? Zajścia polsko-żydowskie w Przytyku 9 marca 1936. Mity, fakty, dokumenty, Biała Podlaska 2000. Cf. ‘Walka o prawo do straganu a mentalność semicka’, Hasło Podwawelskie 1936, no. 35).

11 W. Alter, Anti-Semitism…, p. 28.

12 See for example Z. Verde, ‘Pokłosie akcji polskiej w Oświęcimiu’, Hasło Podwawelskie 1936, no. 7; ‘Żydzi rugują robotników polskich z fabryk’, Głos Pracy Polskiej 1938, no. 17; ‘Jak żydzi się organizują’, Nowa Polska 1937, no. 46. Anti-Semites emphasised that Jewish factory owners employed Jewish workers. The problem of the economic basis of anti-Semitism among workers definitely requires further research.

13 Signed ‘B.r.’, ‘Brońcie nas przed inwazją’, Samoobrona Narodu 1938, no. 44.
14 J. Giertych, Po wyborach w Łodzi. Obserwacje i wnioski, Warsaw 1936. The periodical Ruch Gospodarczy wrote: “A characteristic phenomenon of the Polish economy is not the flood of foreign workers, but the relationship between the worker (most likely Polish) and the employer (alien); an independent merchant and a craftsman (alien)’ (‘Żydzi w gospodarce polskiej (2)’, Ruch Gospodarczy 1937, no. 3; cf. I. Ihnatowicz, A. Mączak, B. Zientara, J. Żarnowski, Społeczeństwo polskie od X do XX wieku, Warsaw 1999, p. 630).
15 It should be noted that in nationalist psychology, a situation when the ‘guests’ are doing better than the ‘hosts’ is a flagrant injustice.
16 Archiwum Akt Nowych (Central Archives of Modern Records, hereinafter AAN), collection
Zbiór Druków Ulotnych 1911–1939 (hereinafter ZDU), 65, Nie kupuj u żyda!, p. 1.
17 A. Landau-Czajka, W jednym stali domu…, pp. 6, 24. For more on anti-Semitism outside the National Camp, see A. Gontarek, ‘Polityka sanacji wobec ruchu narodowego w latach 1926–1935 a kwestia współodpowiedzialności obozu rządowego w rozpowszechnianiu idei antysemickich’ in Przemoc antyżydowska i konteksty akcji pogromowych na ziemiach polskich w XX wieku, ed. K. Zieliński,
K. Kijek, Lublin 2016, pp. 155–196; S. Mańko, Polski ruch ludowy wobec Żydów 1895–1939, Warsaw 2010, pp. 131–132, 138, 189, 194, 200, 207, 212–213, 223, 239, 245–249, 255, 260, 265–266, 270, 280, 287, 301, 311, 321;  M. Śliwa, ‘Kwestia żydowska w  polskiej myśli socjalistycznej’ in Żydzi w Małopolsce. Studia z dziejów osadnictwa i życia społecznego, ed. F. Kiryk, Przemyśl 1991.

18 W. Krzycki, ‘Antysemityzm Ozonu’, Samoobrona Narodu 1939, no. 10.
19 J. Mosdorf, ‘Ideologia, nie taktyka’, Myśl Narodowa 1933, no. 43.
20 J. Giertych, O wyjście z kryzysu, Warsaw 1938, p. 77; cf. P. Różański, ‘Wystąpienia antyżydowskie na polskich uczelniach wyższych w latach 1936–1937 w raportach ambasady amerykańskiej w Warszawie’, Studia Judaica 2009, no. 1–2.
21 The intensity of anti-Semitism which became a leitmotif of the ideology of the National Camp is evidenced by the fact that one (!) page of a randomly selected issue of the Szczerbiec magazine contains titles such as ‘Żydzi do fabryk – polscy robotnicy na bruk’ [Jews to the factories – Polish workers sacked], ‘Czy żydowski mord rytualny’ [Is it Jewish ritual murder], ‘Przewrażliwiona psychika żydowska w oświetleniu wyroku sądowego’ [The oversensitive Jewish psyche in the light of a court sentence] (Szczerbiec 1935, no. 1).
22 Wielkopolska Biblioteka Cyfrowa, ‘Do Akademików Polaków!’, leaflet of the Green Ribbon League, http://www.wbc.poznan.pl/dlibra/doccontent?id=22051, accessed 6 July 2016; see also appeals made by the League in AAN, ZDU, 65; cf. M. Sobczak, Stosunek Narodowej Demokracji do kwestii żydowskiej w Polsce w latach 1918–1939, Wrocław 1998, p. 343.
23 R. Wapiński, Narodowa Demokracja 1893–1939. Ze studiów nad dziejami myśli nacjonalistycznej, Wrocław 1980, p. 308; cf. W. Mich, Obcy w polskim domu…, p. 86; P. Ponisz, Sprawa żydowska w Polsce ze stanowiska narodowego i katolickiego, Częstochowa 1938, p. 69.
24 Quoted from J. Orlicki, Szkice…, pp. 90–91.
25 Ibidem, p. 92.

26 e.g. P.Ponisz,Sprawa żydowska w Polsce…, p.69; ‘Właściwe metody odżydzania handlu’,Hasło Podwawelskie 1936, no.14; X. Charszewski, ‘Kto w Boga wierzy’, Hasło Podwawelskie 1936, no.25;
M. Wiśniewski,‘O nowy “Cud nad Wisłą”’, Pro Christo 1934, no.8.
27 L. Pyżalski, Wrogowie ludu. Prawdziwi i mniemani, Zamość 1938, p.69.
28 Anti-Jewish magazines often described violence against Jews while refraining from any condemnation of its perpetrators (‘Jak było w Grodnie podczas zajść antyżydowskich’, Pod Pręgierz 1935, no. 38; ‘Po wybuchu bomby’; ‘Zajścia antyżydowskie we Lwowie’; ‘Zaprawdę, kamień na kamieniu nie zostanie…’, Pod Pręgierz 1935, no. 40). Sometimes more or less unequivocal justifications for these acts could be encountered: “Where the fights are, there must be accidents and victims” (‘Jak trzeba pojmować polski antysemityzm?’, Hasło Wołynia 1938, no. 1). In the magazine Pod Kropidłem,   a photo of Polish women breaking the boycott was captioned: “These two ladies should get a good beating” (‘Szabesgoje m. Radomia pod kropidłem’, Pod Kropidłem 1939, no. 1). A local nationalist magazine described a family quarrel in which a husband threatened his wife: “I will shoot you if you go [and buy – J.T.] from a Jew”, and commented, “May there be more such husbands” (‘Kronika Płocka’, Polska Narodowa 1936, no. 28). One of the magazines ended an article entitled ‘Wytępienia żydów “ogniem i mieczem” domaga się “Czarny Korpus”’ (4.000.000 1938, no. 12) stating: “The clear face of Germany’s attitude towards Jews is very interesting and Poland could follow their example in many cases.”
29 The ONR leadership made the following appeal: “The fight against Jews is getting tough. During Christmas, many Jewish shops and workshops were gutted by bombs and fireworks. […] Destroy Jews and Jewish property with whatever and however you are able to” (AAN, ZDU, 154, [no title], n.d., pp. 1, 4).
30 K.C. Law., ‘Przesadna czułość’, Hasło Wielkopolskie 1935, no. 10.
31 A. Landau-Czajka, W jednym stali domu…, p. 11.

32 ‘Jak rozwiązać kwestię żydowską w Polsce?’, Wielka Polska 1935, no. 4; see also e.g. ‘W sprawie chrztu Żydów’, Samoobrona Narodu 1939, no. 10.
33 J.K., ‘Żyd nigdy nie przestanie być Żydem!’, 4.000.000 1939, no. 6; cf. ‘W sprawie chrztu żydów’,
Samoobrona Narodu 1939, no. 10.
34 J. Giertych, O wyjście z kryzysu…, p. 263. Nevertheless, it was sometimes possible to read sophisticated arguments in the nationalist press trying to reconcile Christianity and racism,  e.g. Naród w Walce, commenting on the encyclical of Pius XI On the Church and the German Reich of   14 March 1937 – the text actually condemns racism! – wrote: “It cannot […] be said that in this global [human – J.T.]  race there is no place for special races […]”  (‘Ojciec święty o rasizmie’, Naród    w Walce 1938, no. 1). The concept of ‘mental racism’ – a kind of a synthesis of cultural and racial nationalism – was also popular: “Our racism is the racism of the Polish Spirit,” Szczerbiec proclaimed (‘Pojęcia o “rasowości”’, Szczerbiec  1938, no. 5; A.S. Kotowski, Narodowa Demokracja wobec nazizmu    i Trzeciej Rzeszy, Toruń 2006, pp. 191–192; W. Mich, Obcy w polskim domu…, p. 66; A. Landau-Czajka, W jednym stali domu…, p. 50; M. Sobczak, Stosunek Narodowej Demokracji do kwestii żydowskiej…,
p. 429). The concept bears some similarities with the ideas of Julius Evola (A. Wielomski, ‘Teoria ras ludzkich Juliusa Evoli’, Studia nad Faszyzmem i Zbrodniami Hitlerowskimi 2002, vol. 25).
35 e.g. ‘Demon Wschodu’, Naród w Walce 1938, no. 14.
36 ‘Kto nie idzie naprzód, ten się cofa’, Naród w Walce 1938, no. 8.
37  Quoted from A. Landau-Czajka, W jednym stali domu…, p. 44.
38 ‘My katolicy – a oni Żydzi’, Hasło Wybrzeża Polskiego 1936, no. 7.
39 ‘Na drogę istnienia’, Hasło Wołynia 1938, no. 1; see also ‘Po czynach ich poznacie!’, Pod Pręgierz
1935, no. 27; ‘Piekło. Kto walczy z Żydami – ten z diabłem walczy’, Pod Pręgierz 1935, no. 39.
40 ‘Na drogę istnienia’, Hasło Wołynia 1938, no. 1.

41 K.Kowalski, Polska wobec Niemiec, Warsaw 1939, p.14.
42 J.Giertych, O wyjście z kryzysu…, pp. 249, 256; S. Pawłowski, O emigracji Żydów z Polski i o ich kolonizacji, Warsaw 1937, passim; Konwertyta, Nawrócony Żyd o Żydach w Polsce, Warsaw 1938, p. 22; J.Prądzyński, ‘Wysiedlenie Żydów z Polski’, Hasło Wielkopolskie 1935, no. 13; ‘Czy współżycie z narodem żydowskim  jest możliwe?’, Hasło Wybrzeża Polskiego 1936, no. 13;  ‘Żądamy  wysiedlenia  Żydów’,4.000.000 1938, no.1; K. Mazur, ‘Projekt usunięcia żydów z Polski’, Samoobrona Narodu 1939, no. 10.
43 Rev. Kazimierz Bisztyga wrote: “With their destructive influence, the Jews spoil us, demoralise us and try to remake us in their own likeness. […] they strive to conquer, master and make our soul Jewish” (K. Bisztyga, Żydzi w nowej Polsce, Cracow 1926, pp. 2–3).
44 B. Świderski, ‘Chłop w szeregach Ruchu Narodowo-Radykalnego’, Falanga 1938, no. 10; S.Opolski, ‘Drogi reformy wsi’, Nowy Ład 1938, no. 4.
45 The earlier dilemma of the anti-Semitic milieus – ‘exodus or ghetto?’ – would have been resolved unequivocally by Rev. Stanisław Trzeciak, the undisputed authority in the matter: “Unconditional exodus!” (‘Sensacyjny wywiad “Hasła Podw[awelskiego]” z ks. dr. Trzeciakiem’, Hasło Podwawelskie 1936, no. 28; compare X. Charszewski, ‘Ghetto czy exodus?’, Hasło Podwawelskie 1936, no. 6; ‘Nasza ankieta: Jak rozwiązać kwestię żydowską w Polsce? Żydzi muszą wyemigrować z Polski!’, Hasło Podwawelskie 1936, no. 28, the entire issue). However, there were no plans to exterminate the Jewish population. There was probably only one voice calling for such a solution: a book published under the pseudonym ‘Marek Niedowiarek’ consists of interviews with anonymous politicians presenting various attitudes towards Jews; one of these is ‘Mr Jan’ (whether he was a real or fictional character remains unknown), who advocated “the organised mass use of coercion,” answered the question: “How? Poisonous gases, machine guns?” saying: “These modern means of the most humane combat are probably a little better than savages hitting themselves with clubs or leeches sucking blood from a fish” (M. Niedowiarek, Rozwiązania sprawy żydowskiej w Polsce. Rozmowy z politykami, Warsaw 1938, pp. 21–22). Yet, even ‘Mr. Jan’ predicted over “40,000 corpses” (ibidem, p. 24).
46 For example, S. Boczyński, ‘O numerus nullus’, Alma Mater 1937, no. 1; ‘Numerus nullus na wykładach medycznych jest koniecznością’, Samoobrona Narodu 1938, no. 44. The idea was treated with rigorous seriousness: “Here, in the orchestra playing for the dance, there was one [!] Jew”, the anti-Semitic weekly reported with alarm (‘Lubelscy kupcy polscy tańczyli w takt żydowskiej muzyki’, Hasło Podwawelskie 1936, no.10).

47 J. Giertych, O wyjście z kryzysu…, p. 262; cf. A. Landau-Czajka, W jednym stali domu…, p. 161.

 

 

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